On Monday, several hundred people met on the steps of the Capitol in Olympia to rally for equal rights for GLBT people in the state of Washington. It was the third annual rally for equal protection for sexual minorities. Sponsored by Equal Rights Washington and Religious Coalition for Equality (along with about 80 smaller sponsors, including my local congregation), the rally included speeches from religious and political leaders from around the state. At the heart of this year's gathering was a hope that a domestic partner bill sponsored by several legislators in both the House and Senate would pass; it seems that it will.
The Seattle Times today is carrying a good article outlining the benefits the bill extends to both queer and straight couples (straight couples must include at least one parter 62 years old or older). If you live in Washington, please write your legislators in support of the bill; it still has to pass the House. Gov. Gregoire has pledged to sign it should it arrive on her desk.
While I am very glad that religious leaders have been campaigning for this for some time, I also realize that multiple challenges to the bill can be raised. The struggle isn't over and gains are not complete. But in a country where loving people are denied basic rights, this is indeed a wonderful breath of fresh air. As a progressive Christian, I have no ambivalence about the rightness of such a bill. Struggles like this remind me that religion can be used to hurt and to heal. I am grateful that so many United Methodists were at the rally and in their legislators offices speaking on behalf of glbt folks.
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